The Night of the Hunter - Davis Grubb, Julia Keller

Pearl made them listen to the song about the hanging man.

Hing Hang Hung! See what the hangman done! chanted the little girl, and Willa, whirling, slammed the sloshing cup to the black stove top and struck the child so the four marks of her fingers were pink in the small flesh.

Don´t you ever sing that! Ever! Ever! Ever!

Willa´s poor, thin hands were knotted into tight blue fists. The knuckles shone white like the joints of butchered fowl. Pearl would have wept, but it seemed to her that now, at last, she might get to the heart of the matter and so withheld the tears.

Why? she whispered. Why can´t I sing that song? The kids down at Cresap´s Landing sing it. And John said ...

Never you mind what John said. God in heaven, as if my cross wasn´t hard enought to bear without my children - his own children - mocking me with it! Now hush!

Where´s Dad?

Hush! Hush!

But why won´t you tell? John knows.

Hush! Hush your mouth this minute!

 

I don´t know the movie version of this book, so I haven´t gotten a clue what is going on. But I´m hooked and I have only read two pages so far.